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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

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Sandy 7, New York 6, Us 5, Eliot 5, Romney 4, Obama 4, California 4, Europe 4, Mitt Romney 4, New York City 3, Vo 3, Newsweek 3, Mo Rocca 3, Washington 3, Jack Welch 2, Gary Hirshberg 2, Russia 2, China 2, Murdoch 2, Eliot Spitzer 2,
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  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 2, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PDT  

tuesday obviously huge election night coverage here on current. have a great weekend. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." the last employment report before tuesday's election is in. with something for both candidates to talk about. we're going to go over all the numbers in a moment with former labor secretary robert reich but first we'll update you on the ongoing recovery from hurricane sandy. after the better part of the week without heat, light and other necessities millions in the new york city are desperate for some relief. so a bit of good news. hundreds of thousands in manhattan could get power back by midnight tonight. yet around the region, many are waiting as long as four hours to
buy gas. fortunately new york's subway commuter rails are coming back and officials say the gas shortage should ease by midweek. meanwhile, the annual new york marathon has been canceled. many said it would divert needed resources from the cleanup and it was insensitive to the millions still suffering from the effects of the storm. adding up the sandy's grim totals. at least 102 dead including 41 in new york alone. some 3.6 million homes and businesses still without power. and $50 billion in losses. and now for some good news for the economy. the president's re-election campaign. the economy beat a consensus of economists expectations added 184,000 new jobs last month and the private sector while it shed 13,000 public sector jobs, netting out a gain of 171,000
jobs. and revised employment reports forage and september added another 84,000. givingunemployment is higher, giving mitt romney a talking point. >> unemployment today is higher than on the day barack obama took office. >> eliot: what he didn't say was that the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month when obama took office. during his term the economy added millions of jobs. professor at us berkeley goldman school of public policy and author of "beyond outrage: what has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy and how to fix it." hello, mr. secretary. >> hello eliot. >> eliot: there was a massive
conspiracy that the economy was picking up steam. do you think the numbers prove there is an accelerating fact that there improvement. >> the reason why unemployment ticked up was because more people are trying to find jobs now, and in that particular survey the bureau of labor statistics only looks at the number of people who are trying to find jobs. when more people are trying to find jobs because they are more optimistic about there being jobs there that means the unemployment rate actually ironically goes up. the real important number is the establishment survey number. that 171,000 new jobs is a major marker and it shows indubitably that the trend is in the right direction. >> eliot: now you have written so persuasively, and in my class i use a chart that you use in one of your other books that shows the wages unfortunately have been stagnant, and the data continues to show that wages are
stagnant and over the period the increased productiveity of workers has not come to their benefit. this is one of the crises of middle class wealth destruction over the past few years. how do we address that issue. >> in a number of ways, that is the most disturbing trend underlying the jobs picture. it has been going on for a long time since 2000, the typical wage has trended downward adjusted for inflation. the only way to get wages back is you create more demand for workers. that means that employers and consumers have got to have simply more money. it means the government cannot right now cut government spending. that would be a disaster. we've got to wage the minimum wage. we've got to make sure that we have a wpa or civilian conservation corp, probably not
politically possible now but when president obama get a second term we might be able to get that done because we have a lot of long-term un unemployed. i hope some of the tax breaks, such as the breaks on social security payroll taxes can be continued onward from december. i think that's very important to keep money in the hands of the middle class and enabling their spending and spending creates jobs. >> eliot: all the miles you're talking b all of which i'm fully in accord with all predicated with president obama to guide the path. i agree if he gets the second term. one of the premise that i view and i think you view as one of the misguided policies of mitt romney if you lower the tax breaks you get an outbreak of investment. there was a survey that disputed that. they polled it under political pressure. what is your wisdom as someone who has studied this in great
death, would this bring investment as mitt romney high hypothesizes. >> no, between cutting marginal tax rates on the top and creating more jobs or economic growth. clinton increased taxes and we had more jobs than when bush cut taxes. yet average economic growth during the years was better than it has been since. look at nations even in germany and europe scandinavia, they have faster economic growth, particularly germany and scandinavia and higher wages than we have even with the europe crisis, yet their taxes on the wealthy are much higher than ours. this whole supply of economics
approach is pure bunk. >> eliot: you know, yourer you're using the academic word for it, bunk. i appreciate that. that's what we need to hear. >> i'll use the joe biden word, malarky. >> eliot: i'm taking either one. there is still the centerpiece of the argument from the other side, the notion that austerity and you referred to the european track record, the idea that austerity would settle the crisis. in europe what has it led to. >> a deeper and deeper recession, and worse recession in comparison to the rest of the economy. the huge issue is not the deficit number itself. it's the ratio of the debt to the economy over all. if the economy is growing
because government is the spender of last resort and encouraging investment, education, job training, infrastructure, that growth actually enables the debt to shrink as proportion of the economy over all. europe and particularly spain and britain are the worst examples. they embarked on austerity economics, what happens? they actually shrink their economy. they go into recession and their debt or deficit becomes a bigger problem as as the overall economy. >> eliot: i want to take snippets of this conversation and send it to every voter and that would be a guarantee that there would an second term for president obama. previews of uc berkeley goldman school of public policy. as always, thank you.
>> thanks. >> eliot: dennis kelleher president and ceo of better markets, nonpartisan organization promoting public interestage financial reform. den, you heard robert reich who has not gotten enough attention that is important that that we need to focus on. >> the most important number to talk about outside of the political context. it's a long-term problem for the economy, and a long-term problem for the middle class. the increase in unemployment is purely the affect of more looking for jobs. i would have talked about how i'm going to get more manufacturing jobs and wage stagnation instead of this good signal of getting people back to work. >> eliot: it has struck me all through the debate, not that i
want to give them advice or wish them well, but the romney ryan ticket failed to capitalize on what vice president biden said because of the wage earnings down for several families, and that is what reflected in the wage data point. what are we missing here. >> well, you know, it's the political calculation. not only is it a nice number you can point to and target to when president obama took office, no matter how misleading those fact free numbers they really are but it enables him to stay within the obama frame. real wages wages after inflation have been dropping for a significant period of time. it's hard to pin all of that on president obama. and the goal here, of course, with governor romney is that its everything that i can think of that has happened in this country that is negative is due to president obama. it enforces his primary club he
has been trying to use against the president. he has to use it in a way that misrepresents what is going on. not only are the numbers for october good, but august and september were revised upwards. so we have a trend in employment here that is good news for the american people across the board. >> eliot: that's exactly right. 8% was the emotionally important threshold with unemployment above 8% mitt romney had an easier time, using that as a club where it has settled below 8% whether it's 7.8 7.9, it's harder for him to do that. looking at the sector where jobs were created every sector had growth even in manufacturing. >> yes, there is more growth in the service industry, health industry, but these are not high paying jobs being created. he didn't focus on that, and that was a mistake for him. what people are feeling is not the unemployment rate number is
7.8 or 7.9 but the concern is are we moving ahead do we have more money in our pockets. he had an opportunity to connect with people, and he didn't do it. >> eliot: money in the pocket is what voters care about that's where theywhat they feel at the gas pump. that perhaps would have been a better link for him. dennis, an area where you are focus with such acuity has the mega bank model failed, and we got to move to something else? >> i wish you were right. we still have the unlimited resources of wall street purchasing as many allies and politicians as they can and they've plowed an enormous amount of money both seen and un unseen into these elections. they're going to pick up favored office holders after this
election. it's no longer it's only republicans who are for financial reform and for these banks who have failed the economy. there have been important senators and others who haven't been comfortably within the financial reform arena who are now saying these banks are too big and they pose too big a threat and they need to be regulated in a way that brings them down. i wouldn't say that we have an intellectual consensus yet, but it's trending that way. unfortunately, wall street money is trying to buy some push back and i think they'll succeed this tuesday. >> eliot: you're accurately assessing the landscape with wall street lobbying, i think there is a growing consensus. it is still in the growing stages but many people, simon johnson who are saying that era is over, and i think we'll see a reforealation of the mega banks. i want to drive back to what will be a legislative issue
right after the election, the fiscal cliff. something that businesses say they're very worried about. consumers are worried about. is there an ember of hopish an agreement to be reached that does not pickpocket the middle class. >> i'mparticularly if president obama wins re' election, he's made it clear he's not going to extend the bush tax cuts for the top wage earners. house republicans have not moved at all towards a willingness to do that. having a compromise remains to be seen for me. perhaps the election will be such that there will be chastening with weighing in and those who want to keep the tax cuts in place. i don't see it right now but we'll have to wait to tuesday. >> eliot: i think the white house will do nothing let those tax cuts expire and then negotiate from a position of strength and then they can get the deal they want.
why is that wrong as a negotiating strategy? >> well, you know, you could go through it in a lot of different ways when it makes sense and when it doesn't make sense. one of the things that is getting very little attention. while the business community appears to come together and started to talk responsibly about shared sacrifice in a deal that doesn't just put all the burden on the middle class the question is whether or not their actions are going to be anywhere near consistent with their lips. so far a lot of talk, not a lot of action. this is a leadership moment for business in the united states. is it really going to step up and take a position that says let's get this done in a responsible way and we're willing to do our part while we're asking others to do theirs. that's the question that we're going to face. that's what we need to see happen. >> eliot: we'll know soon enough if that is the case. there were those who said they knew taxes had to go up. that was a traumatic change and who knows what that pour tends
for the future. ben white and dennis kelleher, great to have you both on the program. jobs weren't the only topic on the campaign trail today. inin the home stretch president obama and governor romney both wanted to be the hope of change coming up. >> current tv knows there are two sides to every story. >> i have no control on my side! >> this is south jet 227, we are here we go! brace for impact! >> you saved a lot of lives. << uh! >> denzel washington saving the day. >> he was very worried. >> looks like a cool character. >> he reminds you of. >> sully. >> the guy who landed the plane in the hudson. >> he has to be a hero. >> he definitely a hero, yea. >> now, what if you heard the other side of the story? >> i had a couple beers the night before the flight. >> you had alcohol in your system. that could be life in prison. >> are you hiding something? >> well, there's a darker side to this guy. >> makes it a lot more complicated. >> there's more depth there.
>> he's not god himself. >> so it makes it much more interesting. >> you saved my mom. >> it's much more intriguing now. >> while there are two sides to every story... >> it's a lie. ... in the end, there's only one truth. >> flight. only in theaters november 2nd.
>> eliot: new york city is trying to get back to normal as quickly as possible, after hurricane sandy. but it's not normal yet. which brings us to our number of the day. 26.2. that's the length of the marathon that will not be run by nearly 50,000 people sunday. after some argument, the annual new york city marathon has been called off. we're still too close to the tragedy of hurricane sandy and the ongoing clean up. consider this, hurricane fatalities are still turning up in staten island where the marathon would have started. and power generators, fresh water, and other resources brought in for runners are desperately needed by those who are still without shelter. staten island hilton garden inn already said they weren't going
to kick out displaced residents in the hotel just to honor reservations for the marathon. then there is personnel. the marathon usually requires more than a thousand police officers to man the route. but all the emergency workers prison, fire emts have been working tirelessly all week. the police have even asked pore help from department retirees. the decision to cancel it is has been a marathon in the making. but it's the right one. i like mitt romney but i'm sorry. they guy has flipped more than a crack house mattress. (vo) so we gave him a weekly show. >> thank you. >> eliot: with three days to go in what has been a year-long marathon, president obama and mitt romney are running on vapors and adrenaline. hopscotching across the country in an effort to be both omnipresence and passionate,
desperate to make a closing pitch that will persuade the american public. romney was in wisconsin today with his final plea to voters which was the same as it was on day one. i am for business. >> every entrepreneur, every small business person. every job creator will know that for the first time in four years the government of the united states likes business and loves the jobs and higher wages businesses can bring. [ cheering ] >> eliot: president obama in ohio in his clogging argument paints himself as son who will do whatever it takes for the american people. >> obama: we've made real progress but we are here today because we know we've got more work to do. you may not agree with every decision i've made. you may be frustrated sometimes by the pace of change. but you know what i believe. you know where i stand. you know i tell the truth. you know that i i'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as i know
how. you know that. [ cheering ] >> eliot: i love that passion. for more on the last days of the presidential campaign, let's bring in michael tomasky special correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily beast who wrote this week's cover for "newsweek" "can obama close the deal?" >> thank you. >> eliot: is anyone tuning in any more after months and moss of this rhetoric. >> we are exhausted but i did see one hole in ohio that showed obama ahead by three points, but there was still 7% or 8% still undecided in this poll in ohio. i guess some people are still out there scratching their chins, thinking about what they're going to do. >> eliot: i was back when i was in the arena in that game ways skeptical that on the last weekend the undecided would even turn out. i would look at the raw nubs and say that's how it's going to
break. i hope i'm not proven wrong, that the president will take ohio and be okay. do the job numbers matter politically? everyone was waiting. will they matter? >> yes i think they will matter. you know, around the margins, i don't think that the average americans who are more interested in this weekend's football games are sitting around obsessing about the jobs numbers and the readjustments from august and september the way you and i are. but i do think they matter. i think they that create a narrative that says this is a recovery. this is an economy that has been gaining 150 jobs per month this year, and that's a pretty good number given where we were--it's a very good number given where we were four years ago. it's a pretty good number given where we were two years ago. i do think that people hear that on the news. they talk about that with their
neighbors, and i think it makes some kind of difference. >> eliot: jack welch with standing, i think there has been an improvement. consumer confidence going up, which goes to the point you made how does the public feel about things, that's a hugely important predictor. i'm geeky enough to think that it is an important indicator. hurricane sandy has been a devastating blow to new york city and those in its path. it was also a perfect storm for mitt romney, it seems to me. am i wrong about that? >> no, i think you're right. i put it this way. i wrote this earlier this week. nine days ago on that wednesday a week and two days ago, mitt romney's people were calling reporters and saying, we have this in the bag. it was two days after the third debate incidentally. a debate that most people judged the president won although not in the fashion that romney won
the first debate. even though the president won that debate, it did not stop the romney people from saying we feel really good. we think we have this. we think we're on the verge of 305 electoral votes so on and so forth. that was nine days ago. two days ago--two days ago his campaign had a conference call with political reporters to persuade them that the race wasn't over. they were still in it, they had a shot, and they felt pretty good about it. in seven days they went from this race is over to wait, no the rate isn't over. that's what sandy did. >> eliot: the reason for that was because sandy was the perfect metaphor you need a government to come in and do certain things a government that is smart capable driven by people who believe in its purpose and mission and it evoked the images of katrina which is the worst metaphor for mitt romney. and i think the president has
surfed the wrong of this, and it's on the emotions of the public. >> yes, i don't think obama was trying to use it politically. i think he was trying to do thinks job. i think chris christie was trying to do his job. i also think that chris christie understands that he faces re-election in a pretty democratic state and obama understands that he faces re-election next week. those are political realities. they're politicians and they don't deny that. but they were doing their jobs, and i think christie's role here, as i'm sure you know as a former governor, it was a big deal for christie to come out and do what he did. that also really hurt romney. >> eliot: yes, that was the political maneuver of the week. he played it perfectly. switch gears for a moment. i don't want to say that anything is over and done, but the president is comfortable. the united states senate, a pivot or blocking position for the past couple of years. any particular race there that you think is interesting that
has evolved that is demonstrative with what has happened in our politics over the last couple of months? >> i think there are several. the north dakota race there is a good chance. i think missouri, claire mccaskill has a good chance to hold her seat. the most important race that i would point to is the indiana race which is richard murdoch the tee party republican who beat dick lugar in a primary versus joe donnelly the republican. or the democrat, excuse me. donnelly, according to a poll that came out today has an 11-point lead. let me explain take a second to explain why i think this is the most important race. we have those fiscal cliff negotiations coming up after the election and before the beginning of the year. if obama wins re-election, obama is going to be negotiating with probably a republican house and with probably a democratic-controlled senate
but a senate where there will be more than 40 republicans who could full filibuster. now if murdoch wins then every republican in the united states senate will be terrified of a primary from a murdoch type, they won't do a thing to compromise with the president. but if murdoch loses then a lot of republicans in the united states senate are going to say well, that kind of tea party politics doesn't work. i can repel such a challenge and that gives them a little bit more room to maneuver and compromise with the president. i think that's really the most important senate race. >> eliot: michael, i think that is exquisitely important analysis and exactly right. which way the republican party leans after next tuesday does it determine it needs to cut back to the middle and negotiate? or does it feel that the tea party is exactly the most important question of how congress acts and whether or not the president gets things done over the next couple of years.
correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily beast am michael tomasky thank you for your time. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: one endorsement we knew was coming. c. montgomery burns of simpsons.fame is backing mitt romney. what a shock. viewfinder next. rich, chewy caramel rolled up in smooth milk chocolate. don't forget about that payroll meeting. rolo.get your smooth on. also in minis.
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>> eliot: still to come, if it's the most basic tenant of democracy, why is voting so complicated. we'll talk about our flawed system next. but first jon stewart on ohio. mr. burns on romney and fox and friends on edge. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> there have been good things about voting early. vice president biden take it away. >> i'm not saying that each early voter gets a free cheeseburger but i'm not saying that they don't either. [ thunder ] >> i have to say despite all those inimaginebly horrible good jobs numbers i'm feeling
confident. those are drapes to hang in the burns bedroom? >> the franken bedroom. >> if your voter suppression throughout this beautiful country enables romney to oust barack obama, we will burn this mother. [ bleep ] down. >> number six. >> if you vote early you don't have to pay taxes. i'm sorry that's not accurate. >> o.h. god i love that. it's so fun. >> yes, it's not that fun. our city has got a way better calling response thing. new york! yeah. >> number two. >> early voters will receive a $5 million donation from donald trump. >> mr. attorney general, as i remember, mitt romney wrote that
op ed that said the gm should go through a managed bankruptcy, which they did which the president says that's essentially what saved the car industry. mr. attorney general. >> what is that related to? >> what. >> a deal that went down before the storm ever happened. if bloomberg gets this date, you're going to come out and endorse president obama and then tie it to climate change, they have to go through this. that was a back door deal because no one in their right mind would go out yesterday and say i'm endorseing president obama because of his climate change stance. that's crazy town. >> thethe number one good thing about voting early, ladies and gentlemen. >> honestly, don't you want this election over with already. >> eliot: i think the vice president got it right with that last one. more with month mo rocca, can we fix the electorate system. that's next.
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>> eliot: more than ten years since the 2000 presidential election debacle and still the
system is deeply flawed. votes go uncounted. voters are disenfranchised, and the winner of the popular vote won't necessarily be the one named president. is this really the best we can do? the makers of the new nonpartisan documentary "electoral dysfunction" certainly don't think so. >> colored pencils and markers. who is voting for colored pencil pencils? okay. who is voting for markers? markers have won the popular vote. [ cheering ] now it was time to warp these young minds by introducing them to the electoral college. in the end the whole election came down to one state. >> table five's elector angel come on down. this will decide the whole thing.
elector how do you cast your vote? >> colored pencils. >> it's not fair. it's not just about the electorate vote. it's about everybody's vote. >> cenk: brilliant. the host of the movie and correspondent for cbs sundays morning, mo rocca. >> i think first graders have an uncorrupted sense of fairness. that was real. it's a hot button issue colored pencils versus markers. >> eliot: and states right did not leap from their lips. >> that did not come up, but we're the only democracy at this point with this system when it was created it wasn't that uncommon but it's well past the sell-by date and i'm tired of the two sides of the issues. >> eliot: years ago when states were sovereign there was respecting the power. it's an idiotic power. i was around electorate once and
i felt important. >> us an electorate once. >> eliot: when i was attorney general, governor, you get to hold those positions but fundamentally the electorate college is obsolete. there is an every to undo it. some lawyers came up with to have states pass laws. will that succeed? >> it's halfway there. enough states need to agree to it, that collectively equal 270 votes, the winning number to win the vote. it started with maryland, and if you google" national popular vote plan" and it should end it. >> eliot: and if california jumps in. >> california has signed on. that's right. if mitt romney wins the popular vote and barack obama wins the electoral college vote then i think the electoral college will blow up. it will explode. republicans won't stand for that
that. >> eliot: jack welch will say its conspiracy. there are other flaws in the voting system. there rampant with the intellectual problems that we have to deal with. >> the point of origin is the constitution which does not confirm the affirmative right to vote. early on the framers passed it over to the states. everything became localized which is why we have 13,000 different voting districts with its own ballot design. ballot designed by count supervisors, while i respect them they're not designers. that's why you get the butterfly ballot. >> eliot: you're being kind to them. you're right by and large they're hard working good folks. sometimes the design errors are simply poor judgment or a mistake. but there are efforts by many people to prevent people to
vote. >> absolutely. one of the things that has been so localized ie, chaotic there is too much latitude for cha canary. not just because i like to use the word can canary. we need a grown up, ie federal standards who say these are the always and these are going to be uniform. not just different i.d. requirements from district to district. >> eliot: that's right. and we could have an uniform voting list that would get rid of all this stuff about needing to show i.d. and who is on the list and who is being purged from the list and ugly words. those sorts of things could be done, but could you get a political consensus for that these days. >> i think there is a political consensus to get rid--among people there are consensus among constituents, those who are supposed to matter, to get rid of the electoral college. people might say maybe we can fix this thing.
as far as uniformity, i don't know the path to that. >> eliot: i can tell you back after 2000 when i was attorney general here in new york, we did a study of new york's study system, it was arcane, and yet we went to the state legislature and said here are some simple ideas, neither party wanted to do it because the status quo was very powerful. >> there is so much insecurity when you go in with touch voting i think enough people will be worried about this, especially if there are recounts in close elections maybe that will be enough. >> eliot: quickly, how did you get interested in this? >> i'll tell you three great filmmakers who made this movie. it's a documentary, they came to me and it's the kind of topic that initially made me think this makes people's eyes glaze
over. yet, i wanted the creative challenge to take this arguably important topic and make it go down easy. >> eliot: the use of colored pencils and markers was brilliant. mo rocca, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> eliot: one issue up for vote, warning labels for genetically modified food. that's coming up.
>> eliot: i think you can guess who is getting my endorsement for president this year, and yes my candidate can run on his record. that's next on my view. but at 10:00 p.m. eastern be sure to join jennifer granholm in "the war room." she'll have a round table discussion on today's job report with former obama administration economic adviser austin golsby that's later tonight 10:00 p.m. eastern. but first more "viewpoint" coming right up. politics. >>science and republicans do not mix.
>>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: we've heard all the promises excuse, smart lines and grotesque misrepresentations. now it's time to choose. the choice is easy. on one hand you have the leader who saved us from sure fiscal di it waster, watched over a recuperating economy preserved our national security and guided our nation's international relations in rough waters insured landmark universal access to healthcare and pushed historic social policy with respect to immigration and civil rights. his challenger is supply-side reagan omics disciple who says he is fit to lead. he says he has a plan but when asked over and over for specifics can't produce.
the arithmetic doesn't work. he's a governor who shares the social views he embraced to get to the primaries. he became a meyer pawn of the radical republican party, not a leader of it. on issue after issue the choice couldn't be more clear. not only because president obama is right to most of them but bus he leads on all of them. i think he could have handleed politics and policies differently, but he has been decisive strong and consistent. important qualities in a president. his opponent is a self-described etch-a-sketch. the antithesis of leadership. i had no choice but to laugh when i hear people argue that mitt romney would be a better leader than president obama. that romney would better connect with the american people. middle class workers who deserve a fair wage and a promising job. students and their parents who not only strife for top-notch education but who hope for
fighting chance to pay off their student loans women who believe they should have more say about their bodies and medical care than politicians. in sum, i've said it before. facts matter, science matters reason matters. mitt romney has shown an inability to respect all three. president obama has is an overwhelming and unquestioned choice to continue as president. that's my view. (vo) john fugelsang sees what happens. i like mitt romney but i'm sorry. they guy has flipped more than a crack house mattress. (vo) so we gave him a weekly show. >> thank you.
>> eliot: the food fight is on. at least in california. where an outcome at the ballot box this tuesday could impact supermarket shelves nationwide. at issue in the bay state is a ballot measure known as prop 37, which would require the labeling of containing genetically
modified organisms gmos, and make it illegal to advertise such food as natural. supporters politically organic food industry hold that americans deserve to know. but opponents of the measures have already pitched in more than $44 million to fight it on the airwaves arguing that the measures is full of hid cost to consumers. here with me now is gary hirshberg chairman of stoneyfield farm, which has fought for national gmo labeling since 2011. why should people know what is in their food. >> this is the first time since crops were produced in 1996 that consumers had a say in the regulatory process. back in 1996 under vice president dan quayle's
leadership, the fda eliminated genetically engineered foods for consideration for labeling. 20 years later that's the voluntary guidance there. since that time gmos have spread everywhere. they're in much of our corn, most of our soy and processed food. citizens have had no input unlike 55 other countries where labeling is mandatory. russia and china has mandatory labeling which gives people a choice to know what is in their food. they are distinct distinct while there has been no independent science other than by the patent owners, the chemical companies that own these patents the average citizen has no clue if we're
eating this stuff or what the long term effects will be. while they're searching citizens have a right to decide. all of europe, india, japan russia etc. >> eliot: it's terrifying that russia and china are ahead of us in terms of consumer disclosure. let us know if there is gmo in our food. what are the health effects of this genetically modified stuff. what is the science on that? how much data do we have that we can rely upon, we can't rely upon those who are marketing their own products. >> that is exactly the problem. the patent holders for these genetically modified crops they own these crops as i say they've been patented as uniquely theirs. the u.s. government does not
require independent safety analysis for these crops to be approved. as you know perfectly well in washington where now $600 million has been sent by bio tech to lobby regulatory, to narrow the aperture for regulatory approval, it has basically been an industry-driven proposition. there have only been a couple of independent studies. one came out this summer, a peer review in france that smuggled genetically produced corn seed out of canada, and it was scary. i'm not arguing because of this city we have a problem. the reality is we need research, and while we're waiting for that, citizens have a right to know what we're eating. >> eliot: on the one hasn't they want patent rights which is a notion that they have something that is distinct, valuable but on the other hand they don't want anybody in the consumer world to know what is in there.
there is tension in there emotionally and legally. >> you have found the precise hypocrisy of our current policy. one end of washington say these are distinctive. the other said they're no different, they should be labeled. companies have spent $1 million a day to tell consumers in california they should not have that right. the ballot measure is unlikely to win because that have spending, but ultimately this has to be resolved at the federal level. that's where my group is focusing our efforts. >> eliot: if prop 37 passed, you but i you think right now it will be headed to defeat. >> before the spending began 72 % of californians favored laborelling, now its neck and neck. there are still a few days to go we'll see. thousands and thousands of
journalists, consumerists on my website there are 1.3 million people. your listeners and viewers can join us at >> eliot: quickly because the clock is running out, what are you doing in washington to move prop 37. do you think you'll get a good hearing at the fda or appropriate agencies? >> very definitely. since the time we launched our petition a year ago genetically engineered weeds that are no longer affected by the herbicide that these crops now use. oil scientists weed scientists are saying we have a big problem on our hands. resistant weeds in 17 states and 22 million acres. we think we'll get a hearing. >> gary hirshberg, chairman of the stoneyfield farm, and chairman of the just label it campaign.
thanks f